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Desk-top publishing in the post PageMaker Era

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
This is a very, very off-topic post, I know. But that's what this forum is for. :D

I've been using Adobe PageMaker since 1988, when I learned to use it on-the-job in a staff development center for teachers. I used it on both a PC and on a Mac. Yes, young ones, there were computers in 1988. Never mind they had almost no RAM and took forever to produce even the simplest PM document.

Since then, I've acquired a computer-savvy husband and a fairly powerful computer. I now have version 7.1 of PageMaker. Adobe is no longer upgrading or even supporting this program. I'm thinking of getting a new computer- a laptop, actually- and know that Vista won't support it.

So what desktop publishing software should I buy? I've never had formal training in desktop publishing, but I can do enough to publish my temple's monthly bulletin. I don't have to do a lot of complicated publications, so I don't need a professional-quality, very expensive program.

Thanks in advance for your help!
Mezz
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post #2 of 10
You may want to check out http://www.openoffice.org the price is right, it's free. I've used it for a few things, but not that much. For years I did the Utah Region SCCA newsletter and the Intermountain Vintage Racing newsletter using Framemaker on Hewlett-Packard's version of Unix, HP-UX, but that is most likely of no help to you. But the Open Office suite of tools seems to be pretty useful and has done what I've needed of it so far.

mjb.
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post #3 of 10
Mezz -

I used to watch folks in the dept work with PM (remember the flip screens?) and was astounded at the stuff it would do - never learned it myself.....

I can tell you what to avoid: Microsoft Publisher - my needs are very simple and that one doesn't even get that far.
post #4 of 10
Hi Mezz,

David and I needed a lay-out program for a Master Gardener project. He found an open-access (i.e. FREE) one called "Scribus": scribus.net | Scribus Open Source Desktop Publishing
Neither of us had ever dealt with one before, but David was able to teach himself what we needed to know (and then teach me) pretty quickly. We could manage layout, text, and photos with no problem.
Here's a sample page:

Emily

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Emily

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post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the beautiful page, Emily! My DH and I looked at Scribus. He said the way it uses clip art, etc. from your computer means it needs to stay linked to the computer... or something liek that. I spent an hour exploring the program. After 10 minutes he found that issue and told me it probably isn't for me.

Teamfat, that may also be the problem with openoffice as well, but I'll certainly check!

I've learned that Microsoft Office isn't often accepted by printing companies. I send my copy as a PDF file, so maybe it's not a problem. However, I've tried it several times and for some reason, it just doesn't work for me.

Eager to hear more! Keep it coming, please.
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post #6 of 10
Adobe Acrobat can create more than just a PDF, it is a full publishing suite if you buy the full version. A step up would be Adobe - Creative Suite 3 : Web Site Design, Graphic Design, Video Editing, Photo Editing Software but the price tag will make you cringe.
post #7 of 10
A lot of my work up until 3 years ago was computer work. After that much time, I might hardly recognize Microsoft Excel, which was one of my top skills back then.
post #8 of 10
Oh boy, you bring back memories! I remember PageMaker from the late 80s too. :) Great program -- at the time! That was the Rolls Royce of its day. If you are used to PageMaker, then you'll want what Adobe has replaced it with -- InDesign. It is pricey, but it's today's equivalent of PageMaker and the standard in desktop publishing. QuarkExpress is quickly going the way of the dinosaurs and most professionals are moving to InDesign. Printers will be familiar with InDesign and PDF. If you are still teaching (or a student) or know one, then you can get InDesign at the Educational Rate which is drastically cheaper. Most large companies also donate to non-profits and religious organizations so it would be worth a try to contact Adobe to see if they would give your temple a copy or give them a good discount.

There might be one out there, but I have yet to find a quality page design program for free or cheap. Unfortunately, we get what we pay for. If you don't like Microsoft Publisher, I doubt you'll find what you want in the cheap section. They are frustratingly convoluted, slow, and printers often cannot work with them.

Let me know if you have questions. :)
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Joy! I'm on the hunt now....
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post #10 of 10

You're welcome!

You're welcome!
You can get all the details at Adobe's product page.
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